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Antonini 7, Fong 7, San Francisco 6, Vincente 4, Us 4, Mr. Wang 3, Daniel Mccarthy 2, Moore 2, Jennifer Ma 1, Jill Artolla 1, Millers 1, John Wellpachuck 1, Scott Berel 1, Ms. Ma 1, Antonini Svttledz 1, John Waldchuck 1, Jennifer 1, Jill Astralia Sustof 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    December 16, 2012
    7:30 - 8:00am PST  

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second, the staff has asked for there to be a further concession on the side setback in the rear. the project sponsor did originally had no side -- well, there are side setback on the property in general that aren't required that project sponsor came in to begin with then they wanted setback on the rear right and project sponsor did agree to a three foot carve-out. now we've tried to be sensitive to the concerns of the immediately adjacent neighbor and if of course the setback on the right was necessary to preserve light and air for the adjacent neighbor and not unduly shadow their property we would have done so but shadow analysis shows because of the topography of the site there is no need for additional site set back showing no shadow on the neighboring
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home except for one small period of time during one part of the year when there's a little bit of shadow on the rear wall. again the project sponsor has made concessions, even though they want a large house for a large family of three generations, they've cut back at the front and they've cut back at the side. the downslope is what i think -- well first, while we're talking about the rear setback, if you look at the other properties on the block face, you'll see that where we're proposing to go back to this level is no deeper than this building, this building, and this building. in fact the only property that doesn't go as far back as we're proposing right here was the immediately adjacent building which we've done the shadow analysis to show lack of impact. i'd like to -- to respect your time, we have many supporters
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here for this project. i'm not going to have all of them come up and give comments but i would like them to stand, the supporters of the project so you can see the support that this has garnered. i want to conclude by saying we have done the historic resource evaluation that has been asked for. the project sponsor has completed the soundness report, complied with the planning code. we think it completely complies with the residential guidelines so we don't think discretionary review is warranted. thank you. >> president fong: open it up to public comment. i have speaker cards when i call your name line up on this side of the room. jennifer ma, jill astralia sustof, daniel mccarthy, john wellpachuck, scott bureau and -- >> hi. my name is jennifer ma, i live
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adjacent to this property since 2003, same time has the houses went on sale and i've been living there since then. what you don't see is pictures of the mess in front of my house that we constantly have to clean. i've lived there since 2003 and have not seen any of the people standing back there and i have neighbors that would be supportive of that. i want to state that clearly right now. so i live in the city most of my life, raised my kids in the house we live in now. we bought the house. we enjoyed the the look and feel of the neighborhood and want to continue to do that. we know the neighbors, my daughter is at preschool, we're vested in living in this area and we're engaged in the area, look out for each other and look forward to spending many more years living there. recently the lease has arranged a meeting to discuss the new house before this meeting. they conducted the shadow study
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after we requested it. the concern of life was never addressed. so, yes, the shadow does not appear to have direct impact, but the fact that we have light throughout the day does remain a concern for us. as we look outside of our house right now, the back of our house is -- does already have some darkness. when i look back and imagine a house right next to me that's much longer and taller than what we have right now, i stare at complete darkness. that's what we're faced with if this house is proposed next door to our house right now. that's our bedroom. so our kids won't have light in the bedroom, and we won't, if this gets approved. i understand tom shares the same concerns we have. i represent my family, my husband and i and the kids. james, my husband has met with the planner, reviewed the recommendations and are supportive of the two options proposed. so consider that you -- consider
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i recommend you consider the recommendations proposed. in that ultimately you will lead to more natural sunlight to our house we won't feel boxed in and our bedrooms will have a natural openness of the air quality and light that we have right now. last week, commissioner antonini had stated when you add something, you want to take it back. i thought that was a well-spoken remark and that should be applied to this particular new appraisal. also i know that we talked about the building of this home but i also think that we're concerned about the bottom of the hill. we have a foundation that right adjacent to the -- if that's demolished i think there should be some consideration to the demolishment and soundness of the concrete next to our home. thank you for listening to my concerns. >> president fong: thank you. next speaker please. >> mr. president and
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commissioners, my name is jill artolla, and i side at 4008, my husband and i are native san franciscans and have owned our home for more than 30 years. we look forward to living there for a long time as well. i do not recognize many of the people that stood as our neighbors either. i am outside, gardening very often. we are concerned about the loss of light and view of open space after this large home is built. we would like to encourage you to reduce its size to preserve the light and open space that we now have. as you know, this neighborhood is prone to fog, and overcast days. there are few if any shadows on those days, only light. my garden and rear bedrooms also depend on the light. jennifer and james will be sandwiched between our home and the lees and that will create a
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problem for them. we want to state when you add something, you take something else away. that is key here. our homes are typical modest west twin peak parkside homes. this replacement home is very large at 5500 square feet. my home and my hope is that by reducing the size of the second floor, loss of light will be minimized. if the garage level height is lessened, the overall building height would be less as well. please reduce the size of this home and keep as much of the light and open space for the mas and ourselves. we urge you to vote for the staff's recommendation. i would entertain hearing from those neighbors that stood and hear what they have to say being next door or across the street from this property. thank you.
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>> president fong: thank you. >> thank you for the opportunity to speak. my name is daniel mccarthy. born and raised in san francisco, actually raised across the street at 415 vincente. i've been looking across at the old miller house and knew the millers well and now welcome our new neighbors in a brand new beautiful house. we'd love to see the old one disappear. for a number of years now, i look sd directly across at the millers and the mas and vincente street, from the front of my house is a very dark street, gets very little light. i look across at the mas and see how they have totally blinded by these huge horrible trees that come out of 422. i know that's not your issue. but now what is being proposed is that they cut off all of the
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light on their north side, and put them in a canyon. and they have got two little kids that, vincente is not a good street to be playing on. it's a very busy street. and i'm sure that the kids spend a lot of time in the backyard. to put them in a dark cavern i don't think is right. as i said we totally welcome a new house. we welcome our new neighbors. i just don't -- i just ask that you follow through, and take the recommendation of your own planning department, and get this house built. thank you. >> good afternoon, mr. president. my name is scott berel here to speak in sport of the project and the project sponsor. and i just want to talk a little
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bit about who and what is being proposed. i've known the project sponsor for a number of years. i know his family. and he is -- i think as the commission knows, he's a native of san francisco, born and raised here. and he wants to raise his family here. and it's very important to him. and he bought this project, this land, years ago, with the intent that this would be a place where he could build a house for a growing family. and he has worked with his neighbors, with the neighbors that will be his neighbors, to try to make it work for them, and for his family. he has two kids now. he has a baby on the way. and in this house, he's going to have those two kids, and the
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baby that's coming, and he's also going to have his elderly parents, who are going to help raise those kids. and so he needs room for his house. and that's all that this is about, is for him to have a place where he can raise his family in san francisco, in a wonderful neighborhood. and you're going to have stability, you're going to have a family there that has been here for -- in san francisco for decades, and will be living here in san francisco for decades to come. and i also just want to make sure that the commission knows how much they have worked with the neighbors to try to accommodate their concerns. because, you know, they have done studies at the request of the neighbors. they did a shadow study at the request of the neighbors. and the shadow study showed that
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their concerns about the shadow were not something that they really had to be particularly worried about. they have reduced and made reductions to their proposed project at the request of the neighbors. they have worked hard to make sure that their project is something that everyone can live with. but at some point, you know, i think that you realize that maybe it's not so much that people are looking for accommodation but they're looking for them to abandon the purpose of what the house was for. and this is a house that is for a family. and it's a large family. so i just ask that the commission keep that in mind. thank you for your time. >> president fong: thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i hope that this house will be built soon. i work in san francisco. and i pass by this property all the time because my church is in sunset, and also i have --
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because i'm an insurance agent, so i drive around the neighborhood to take pictures of the houses. it seems this house has been vacant for so long it's an eyesore. when i pass by this house it caught my attention because it does not look good. and from the insurance agent's point of view that all the vacant houses, it has the intention to draw the squatters and interviewedders. and they -- intruders and they may go into vacant homes to do illegal activities. we hope this nice home, when i look at the pictures, it seems that it is conformed to the neighborhood and i hope that this project will be built soon so that it will not throw the bad people into the neighborhood. i feel that this nice project can improve and upgrade the whole neighborhood. thank you. >> president fong: thank you. is there any additional public
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comment? >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is john waldchuck, trustee of the trust that owns the home next door, the 430 vincente. i have some concerns with regards to the anticipated construction. the drawings are sort of deceiving because it shows the back -- the rear of the house that is next door as a two-story portion and that is wrong, because it is a split level house. the back portion goes up five to six feet, and they are anticipating a -- going down and to keep the -- the roof levels adjacent to one another, they
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say they will be the same, but they'll have to be going down about 10 feet under that building to get into the foundation of their own building. so there's quite a concern. and i have not seen any soils study or engineering reports as to whether or not this is feasible, and what the consequence of it will be. there's a couple of side notes is that this house -- the proposed house is two to three times of the square footage of what is there now. and although they accommodate us because initially they wanted to build it wall-to-wall, the house set back about three feet in the -- in between the two buildings. but it's so large that the house on -- we are on the west of the house that's contemplated.
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and it will totally keep us in darkness because it is so large that it's just -- covers up from the front to the back. if the setback is -- remains -- goes back to 10 feet, the whole front of it will be in the shade, particularly up until noon because of the eastern exposure, will be totally covered. i thank you for your time and that's my comments. >> president fong: is there additional public comment? seeing none, public comment portion is closed. commissioner moore. >> commissioner moore: i'd like to put to the record that this is a mandatory discretionary review, and the issues, which the residential design team has addressed are those typically addressed in a
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mandatory discretionary review. i want to say that i think the review is extremely thorough, creative, and supportive of those ideas that are important to us as a commission. i want to comment taking it down from the top, the 15 foot setback from the street is something which this commission has asked the department to consistently implement. it's not 11 feet. it's not 12 feet. it's 15 feet where it occurs on the street side of a property which is larger than two stories, because this particular setback should not be seen from the front. so it's really not an issue to question, but just to accept because this commission has used this rule and over the years had the department strong implement the same 15 feet wherever that type of condition occurs. on the second one, regarding the garage door, that is also a guideline which this commission
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consistently supports when a facade of a residential building has, as its main feature, a garage, we do not want to look like suburbia but we want to keep the width of the garage typically at 10 feet in order to deemphasize that indeed the garage is an element we accept, however the door itself cannot be larger. that is, again, a rule which is consistently applied. now comes the question about the massing of the building. we have an existing building of roughly 1700 square feet as mr. wang gives us here a rundown in its chart on the first page. and it's something which is supposed to be enlarged to something which is in the 4600 square feet, rounding it off to the number which is in front of me. this is a huge, huge, huge increase in an r2 zoning district when indeed a single
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family house is just simply replaced by a single family house. that is a huge increase and i do understand that there is a growing family, a multi-generational setting but it's still a large house. and that is i think, when we all strongly have to consider compatible massing with what is there. and i believe that the recommendations the department makes are very sensitive. i personally believe, from a usefulness point of view, that option a, i think, where we're talking about an eight foot setback allows the two bedrooms to happen, turned sideways and accessed from the side, from the corridor is a very creative and reasonable solution. so i am in full support of the department's recommendation, and just want to hear what the other commissioners have to say.
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>> president fong: commissioner antonini svttledz i know a couple -- >> commissionecouple -- >> commissioner antonini: a couple of speakers spoke about soundness during the construction process. this is an issue that has to do with department of building inspection. the project sponsor, in this sort of building, is responsible to make sure the shoring is adequate, that no damage is done to any of the adjacent properties. and that is not really an issue that we have control over here. it's something that needs to be taken up with during the permitting process. and it routinely is. and that would be mandatory that shoring be adequate and there be no adverse effects on adjacent properties from the excavation or anything else that's being done. in regards to the project itself, i think it's a very well-done. the house is extremely contextural, if you look at the
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renderings of the new building it fits in beautifully with the homes on the street, that unfortunately doesn't happen enough, and i think it's an example what can be done architecturally to make a home look like it belongs in a neighborhood it goes into. the issue seem to be the three things staff brought up. my question, in regards to -- i'm looking at the picture here. it doesn't look like that garage door is that onerous-looking. mr. wang, you want to go from 12 feet to 10 feet? is that what the change is here you're suggesting? >> that is correct, commissioner antonini. >> commissioner antonini: this view is a little bit oblique. the other question i have is that there is a little bit of an elevation on this, and sometimes if the garage door isn't wide enough, it's difficult when you try to get your car in there.
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i don't know. i may ask the project sponsor's attorney a question in just a the setback issue that would be on the second floor, is that correct, mr. wang, where we want the setback on the second floor. >> it is on the top floor, the third floor. >> commissioner antonini: third, rather. second floor above the garage, garage being the first floor which does go down the hill quite a ways too. okay. i don't really see that as much of an impact as i do the rear setback you're advocating for because it seems to me that even in its present position, the third floor setback does not have too much of an impact on the adjacent property but the rear of the building might have more of an impact. so i would be more interested
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in -- maybe i could ask project sponsor's attorney about the suggestions in the rear. there's been the talk about notching this out, these corner or bringing the whole rear wall back eight feet and there seems to be some sympathy on the commission to accept those. is there a preference that you would have, if it is decided that one of these two actions are taken? >> if i could, commissioner, i could show you a photo at the rear, that will illustrate the point we're trying to make about the side setback and the loss of light or air. so this shows the relationship of ma's house to the current structure. the proposal is to bring it back to this retaining wall which is the same depth as all the neighboring buildings, exeft except ma's home. the fact because ms. ma's home is at a lower elevation there really is no significant impact
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on the light that comes into the property and that's what the shadow analysis we provided shows. most of the rear is shaded already by this fence. and by bringing it back, and then by notching it out the way we've proposed, the shadow analysis we've done shows there really subject a significant impact on light and air. on your specific question i would need to check with the project sponsor about which of those two proposals would be the least onerous to them but we really think that the way we adjusted it first with the three foot setback and then with the additional three foot setback on the top floor we're preserved the light to that property. >> commissioner antonini: how do you feel about the suggestions about the garage door and the setback in the front? >> they'd like the wider garage door because it is a big family and they have a minivan and they
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want to get in and out. i understand what commissioner moor is saying about the policy there. on the front they have brought it back and that additional three feet on the one side helps with the flow of the design and helps preserve ability to have the number of bedrooms they ne need. >> commissioner antonini: i would entertain perhaps some modification to the rear area, to allow a little more light and air to that back door, although make a good point that a lot of it is already shaded because of
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the topography. >> so i'm not an expert in residential design but i feel there's importance to adhere to the residential guidelines. i think the bedrooms look fairly large in size
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